How to see the services running on an Android mobile

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On a Windows PC you can see everything that is running in the Task Manager, but on Android it is somewhat more complicated: applications constantly stop, close and reactivate, in a more dynamic way. If you want to see what applications are running in the background , one of the best ways is to check the running services.

For some time now, it is possible to see the services running on an Android mobile from the development options . We will tell you how you can check the data and what exactly these services are and what relationships they have with the applications you use on a day-to-day basis.

What are the services on an Android mobile

Google defines services in its developer documentation as a component of Android applications that has no interface and can perform long-running operations in the background .

Services are essential in Android, as they can remain active after the application has been closed , something that the system does not take long to do after you switch to another application. Thanks to them you can, for example, continue listening to music when switching to another application, or receive WhatsApp messages.

While the applications close themselves when you are not using them, the services can remain active, be activated periodically or when certain conditions are met

As a user, generally we should not worry too much about services, unless you are investigating if an application is spying on you or you have a mobile with very little memory and you are investigating which applications are hoarding it. The good news is that Android clearly shows what active services each application has , sometimes making it clear why they are there.

How to view running services

The first step is to activate the development options

Now that we have an idea of ​​what services are on an Android mobile, it’s time to find out how we can take a look at them. For some time now, the list of active processes has been within the options for developers .


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The way to activate the developer options in Android has not changed since Android Jelly Bean and involves going to the system information section of the settings and repeatedly tapping on the build number. Afterwards, the developer options menu will appear, generally in the General section . Among them is Running Services .

In the upper part, graphs are shown with the system’s RAM memory and the percentage of it that is in use at that moment by the system and the applications. Just below is the list of currently active applications and the RAM used by each one . The number of processes and services that each have active is indicated just below each one.

By tapping on any application in the list, you will get more data, including the list of services and processes that each of the applications has running. From the services you can see how long they have been running. Of the processes, how much RAM do they occupy.

Many of these services and processes have an explanatory name that makes it clear why they are there. For example, Gboard has an active service for being the default keyboard application, the launcher has another to manage notification points, and WhatsApp maintains a service to receive new messages .

Generally it is not recommended to mess with the services of an application, but this same list allows you in some cases to go to its settings to deactivate them or stop them manually, which is not highly recommended because the application to which they belong could stop working correctly.

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